The Videographer Awards, a national awards program created by communications professionals to honor talented individuals and companies in the video production field, has awarded Fairfield University’s Media Department its highest award, an Award of Excellence, for Video Productions, Educational Institution. The award is for “Mission Possible: The Promise,” which last year launched the biggest-ever capital campaign drive for Fairfield University at New York’s Waldorf Astoria before a gathering of nearly 800 people. The video also received an Award of Distinction for Creativity, Use of Sepcial Effects/Animation.

There were over 2,400 entries from throughout the United States and several foreign countries, including Italy, Japan and Germany, in the Videographer Awards 2001 competition, with about 12 percent selected for the Award of Excellence. Fairfield University was the only selection from Connecticut and among 11 colleges and universities nationwide.

All the elements of the production were produced by the Fairfield University Media Center, with Rev. James Mayzik, S.J., serving as executive producer. Brian Merry was the producer, Karen Connolly the script writer, Jean-Henry Mathurin the production manager, Jason Kapell the editor, and Scott Volpe the production assistant. A university musician, Peter DeMarco, wrote the musical score, adapted from the Mission Impossible television theme.

With only three months to script, shoot and edit the video, it at times seemed The MI2 spoof is a 13-minute, fast-moving, high-tech piece interlaced with campus humor. Among its stars is Thomas Zingarelli, director of the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts at Fairfield, who, dressed in mountain-climbing gear, scales the south side of Bellarmine Hall, a three-story Tudor-style mansion where administrative and admission offices are located. (A stunt man did the actual climbing.)

Zingarelli did actually get to the roof of Bellarmine Hall where a helicopter rising from the back of the building delivered his “assignment.” The whirling rotory blades created a current of wind that seemed momentarily in danger of sweeping our hero over the edge of the roof.

Throughout the video, several well-known university administrators and faculty made cameo appearances using insider humor, hyperbole and theatrics. Driving the story was the plot’s mastermind, a.k.a. Rev. Aloysius P. Kelley, S.J., university president, who, cast in a shadow, delivered the opening lines: “Good morning, Tom. Sorry to interrupt your vacation.”

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